【明報專訊】JUST when experts in Sino-US relations are mulling over the possibility of an imminent trade war, the tit-for-tat spat between the two sides has continued to escalate. Immediately after the US Department of Commerce had imposed heavy sanctions against ZTE Corporation, China's Ministry of Commerce followed suit by announcing anti-dumping measures on grain sorghum imported from the US. Since US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said he is considering a trip to China, there may still be chances of resolving trade conflicts through dialogue. But in view of aforementioned circumstances, obviously harm has already been done to the trade and economic relations between the two countries. While China is pondering its next moves to counter those made by the US, it should also seek to play catch-up through the investment of significant resources to speed up its research and development. Only by then will it become less dependent on foreign countries. If it fails to do so, even the unique advantage of a huge market will only benefit other countries.